A Question of Awareness
Updated: Jan 25
Saturday, January 22, 2022
Second Week of Ordinary Time
by Fr. David M. Knight
Because of Saul’s mood swings, some Scripture scholars have speculated that he was bi-polar. If he was, it was irrelevant to David, who never for an instant forget that Saul was God’s anointed. That was how he saw him and how he treated him.
Today’s reading, taken from 2Samuel 1: 1-27, omits the verses that tell how Saul’s death was reported. The messenger said Saul thought he was mortally wounded and had asked him to kill him, so he did. But David said, “Were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” And he had the messenger executed.
Then David sang of Saul, and of Jonathan, who died in the same battle:
Saul and Jonathan, loved and lovely, neither in life nor in death were divided. Swifter than eagles were they, stronger were they than lions.
O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and fine linen, who set brooches of gold on your garments. How did the heroes fall…?
This is how David remembered Saul, who did everything he could to kill him. And this is the kind of awareness we should cultivate in our thoughts about every person we deal with. This is the kind of respect that grows out of authentic Fear of the Lord.
Mark 3:20-21 tells us that at times Jesus’ own family thought he was crazy:
He went home; and such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal.
When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.
To be “out of you mind” means to be out of touch with reality. But you might look the same way if you are in touch with more reality than “normal” people are aware of. Those who are aware of the mystery of God; of God’s relationship with the world and of our relationship with him; of the awesome reality of grace making us and others authentic children of God and sharers in his divine life, do not relate to anything or anyone in this world in a way that is “normal” in our culture. This is the essence of Christian witness: to live a lifestyle that raises questions because it raises eyebrows.
If we are really in touch with the Good News, aware of the new identity, the enlightenment, the power, the “posterity” (fruitful ministry) and victory promised to those who really believe in Jesus Christ, how can we not be so obsessed by the need to share that with others that even our friends and family sometimes wonder if we are out of our mind?
This is what happened to Jesus.
It is mostly a question of awareness. “Let us see your face, Lord—constantly—and we shall be saved.” And save others.
Initiative: Cultivate awareness. Say the WIT prayer all day long. Read Scripture.